The Tsar's Regime and why it failed (Russia)

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  • Created by: Louise
  • Created on: 01-04-13 14:57
What type of ruler was Tsar Nicholas II?
An autocrat- he believed in absolute power
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By whom was most of the country's wealth and land owned?
A small noble class
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Which organisation supported the Tsar and his regime?
The Russian Orthodox Church
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What was Russia's approx population pre 1914? What percentage of this was made up of peasants?
150 million, 80%
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Who controlled the peasant villages?
The mir- a local council who had the power to decide whether a peasant was allowed to own/rent land
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Were the majority of Russians well-educated?
No, there was a severe lack of basic education.
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What type of person was the Tsar to his family?
Loving family man.
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Why did he find ruling a large empire difficult?
He didn't understand the people of the vast empire that was Russia.
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What were the personality faults of the Tsar?
He didn't takeadvice, he couldn't delegate effectively, he felt easily threatened by gifted ministers (e.g. dismissed Count Witte), he encouraged rivalry between different departments (no cooperation)
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What was good about the Tsar's personality?
He was ambitious (e.g. industrialisation)
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What was the name of the secret police force he used to stay in control?
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What did the police have? Why were these useful?
Emergency laws to control the populaion better and to crush rebellion in an emergency
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What else did the Tsar have to help him stay in control?
The LOYAL Army (especially the Cossacks)
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What else did the Tsar use to stay in control?
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In which year did political parties become legal?
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Name the two Liberal/Democratic Parties
Kadets (mainly academics. Wanted a parliamentary democratic system, like Br). Octoborists (liberals, mainly businessmen and industrialists. Wanted freedom of speech and conscience and an end to autocratic power)
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Who did the Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) represent?
The peasants, but there was a lack of effective contact with the peasantry.
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Who were the Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP)?
They were formed in 1898 and followed the teachings of Karl Marx. Lenin, their leader, was exiled to Siberia.
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When did the RSDLP split?
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What did the RSDLP split into?
Bolsheviks (majority) and Mensheviks (minority)
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How did the Bolshevik and mensheviks differ?
Both represented the industrial proletariat. Bolsheviks- lead by Lenin, said the party should work to speed up revolution. Mensheviks- literal Marixts. Trade unions should be encouraged then infiltrated.
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Which high profile member left the Menshevik party? And when?
Trotsky, July 1917
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What were the conditions like in 1903?
Terrible in both the towns and countryside (lack of food, overcrowding, famine, etc.)
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What change in policy caused problems?
Censorship & other repressive measures were relaxed. This led to an explosion in anti-government pamphlets, etc.
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What did the Tsar do in order to try and win back some respect? How did this work out?
He started a war with Japan. Russia suffered some humiliating defeats, so it was a disaster.
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When was Bloody Sunday?
Sunday 22nd January 1905.
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How did Bloody Sunday start?
Father Gappon lead 200,000 protestors to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg to give a petition to the Tsar
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What were the protestors like?
Peaceful and respectful
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What did the petition ask for?
Reduced working hours, a minimum wage, and a say in how the country was run.
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Why did they not succeed?
The Tsar was not there. They were met by soldiers and mounted Cossacks. No clear orders were given and they opened fire.
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What did this mean for the Tsar?
People lost respect for him; he was clearly out of touch.
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What happened as news of Bloody Sunday spread throughout Russia?
Strikes occurred across the country, and striking workers put barricades in the streets. Peasants attacked the homes of their landlords.
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What happened in February?
The Tsar's uncles was assasinated in Moscow.
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What happened in June?
Sailors aboard the battleship Potemkin mutinied.
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What happened in October?
A general strike began: people took to the streets demanding change - students, factory workers, revolutionaries, doctors and teachers.
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Who returned from exile as a result of this?
Lenin and Trotsky.
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What was the tsar's response?
The October Manifesto
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What did the Tsar aim to do with this manifesto?
Divide his opponents in order to weaken them.
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What did the Tsar offer the people in the Manifesto?
A Duma, the right to free speech, and the right to form political parties.
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What else did the Tsar offer in November?
Financial aid for peasants.
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What response did this get from his opponents?
The Middle Class Liberals were very happy. The Revolutionary Groups were very suspicious.
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What did the Tsar then do, and why?
He made peace with Japan, so he could bring bring his troops to western Russia to crush the revolts.
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What was the situation in December 1905?
The leaders of the St. Petersburg and Moscow Soviets were arersted and exiled. Any riots that occurred were easily crushed.
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What was the situation by March 1906?
Revolution was crushed. Leaders were either dead, exiled, or in hiding abroad.
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What was the main reason revolution failed?
The army stayed loyal.
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What was introduced (and when) to limit any power the Duma may have had?
The Fundamental Laws, May 1906
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When was the first Duma?
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Who got seats? What did they demand? What happened?
Cadets- majority. They demanded control of taxes (as promised). The duma was dismissed, lots of Liberals fled to Finland.
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What about the 2nd Duma? What did the Tsar want to do? What happened?
The SDLP won some seats. Arrest some members as terrorists, but the Duma refused. It was dismissed.
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With the next two dumas (1907-14), who were not allowed to run?
The SDLP. The Dumas obeyed the tsar. "Troublemakers were arrested and imprisoned.
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How did the Tsar try to continue to cling onto power?
Press was censored, and the Okhrana was used to spy on people.
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Who felt particularly discontent?
Poor working people.
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When was Peter Stolypin appointed as prime minister?
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What was his approach?
The Carrot & Stick approach.
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What policies were in the carrot? Who was it meant to satisfy?
The control of the mir over land ditribution was ended (kulak class created), peasants were given land back from the Church etc, redemption payments were abolished, and workers' insurance was established (mostly to please peasants)
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What else did Stolypin introduce?
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What was the 'stick'?
Stolypin came down hard on strikers, protestors and revolutionaries.
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How many people were exiled/hanged?
20,000 exiled & 1000 hanged.
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What did this do?
Killed off opposition
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When and by whom was Stolypin killed?
In 1911 by a revolutionary.
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Who was Rasputin?
A dodgy monk, faith-healer to the tsar's only son (heir to the throne) who had haemophilia. Alcoholic, untrustworthy.
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Why did people not like Rasputin?
He was untrustworthy and seemed to have massive influence on the tsar & tsarina (like a puppet master)
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When was he killed?
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How did Russia cope at the start of WWI?
It was quick at mobilising (runing Schlieffen plan), patriotism and loyalty to the Tsar were revived.
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What two infamous battles meant the tsar quickly lost support?
Battle of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes
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How many casualties were there by the end of 1917?
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What did the Tsar do in 1915 which was a bad decision?
He became Commader-in-chief. He took all the blame for problems, and left the GERMAN Tsarina and Rasputin in charge.
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What was there a massive shortage of at the fronts?
Rifles and equipment
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Could the transport network cope? What consequence did this have?
No. Supplies were slow in getting to the front, and food couldn't get from the country to workers in the cities.
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What about the economy?
There was inflation, resulting in economic chaos.
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What did the food and fuel shortages to civilians result in?
Demonstrations & strikes in factories (very bad for the war effort)
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Card 2


By whom was most of the country's wealth and land owned?


A small noble class

Card 3


Which organisation supported the Tsar and his regime?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What was Russia's approx population pre 1914? What percentage of this was made up of peasants?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Who controlled the peasant villages?


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